Simply clever, but will Singaporeans bite?
Text by The Lenspeed Team
SKODA made a comeback to Singapore on Thursday, with its new showroom facility perched not-so-quietly at the backyard of Volkswagen Singapore’s building. It all makes sense – shared platforms, parts and technologies mean there are already huge economies of scale to have both brands under one roof.
The one thing less clear is how exactly the two brands will co-exist. In other parts of the world, there is more breathing space when it comes to price differentiation, because government tax isn’t such a big proportion of the overall cost of the car. In Singapore however, the tax on a Skoda is going to be pretty close to what a Volkswagen attracts. So for people who are going to pay 90-95% the cost of a Volkswagen for a Skoda, they might as well the little extra for the German badge.
But maybe there’s more to Skoda than just the price. Things like the self-charging torch in the boot, or the cavernous interior space whichever model you choose. And then there are also specifications – even the cheapest Rapid Sportback will feature KESSY and a rear view camera as standard. Not bad, but having only 2 airbags is a bit of a shocker too.
Also, VW currently doesn’t sell a 7 seater SUV, and Skoda fills that gap with the Kodiaq. VW killed off the Jetta, but Skoda ‘cleverly’ sneaks back into the small saloon segment with the Octavia. It will be an interesting next few months to see how Skoda fares. What is for sure is that it’s here to stay. Good news for everyone in the end. We hope we’ll see an Octavia wagon being brought in, or even a VRS; now that will really pique our interest!
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